I developed my sense of style the hard way. Through dogged stubbornness regarding my sense of taste and recognition of the older men I grew up around. The guys weren’t always great dressers, most of them had blue-collar jobs that didn’t require shirts, ties or freshly pressed suits. They wore whatever, except on Sundays and Friday afternoons. I watched guys go to the mosque and church dressed in whatever the most prestigious gear that had in their possession. Double-breasted suits, wool fedoras, shiny gold watches and dope shoes. Man, the shoes, though. Wingtips like you couldn’t imagine, pristine condition loafers, polished leather monks and next-level ankle boots. They were killing. They took pride in the fact that even if they had callouses on their hands and stayed drenched in musty sweat on most days, when they needed to, when they wanted to, they could clean up with the best of them.

I decided years ago that this is the path I wanted to go down. As a youngster, I wanted to live the lives of the guys. The kind of men who would punch a dude dead in the throat for getting outta line, that had the ability to outclass others in debates on world affairs and had the charisma to successfully flirt with any woman, just for the sport of it. Right now, you want to be this guy too, don’t you?

These shoes above, from the Florsheim Duckie Brown Collection, remind me of those men. These joints right here are special; the contrasting dual colors grays—one suede, the other patent leather—create a solidly sophisticated look. Those men, would have worn shoes just like this. These are power-move shoes, the joints you put on when you’re making a statement. Doesn’t even matter what that statement is, just know that you will make it and you’ll have several options on the table when doing so. 

Jokers will realize what the stakes are the moment you walk in the room. The dudes with the wrinkled, worn, basic black leather shoes will undoubtedly look as your joints and say to themselves “word..it’s like that?..alright.” Trust me on that.

And the ladies? Well, let’s just say that you will start seeing a lot more smiling faces, the moment you start rocking these.

 

Florsheim by Duckie Brown, Saddle Shoe

Florsheim.com and Barneys.com

$335